Sisyphus Distressing

Contact: Holly Newton (Email)

Presented by  Mextapraxis Ensemble

This opera theatre project is built around the iconic Greek mythological figure of Sisyphus, as seen through the eyes of the French philosopher and Nobel-awarded author Albert Camus.

Sisyphus was condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again.  Sisyphus Distressing compares the absurdity of man’s life today with the endless repetition and meaninglessness, struggle and failure, as well as (some sort of controversial) hope for what might come next: the realisation that life is absurd cannot be an end, but only a beginning.

This is the second part of Emfietzis’s work on Sisyphus, initiated during his residency with the London Symphony Orchestra (2012- 2014) and the work Sisyphus Victimised. At the centre of the proposed performance is a brand new instrument/installation, specifically designed for this project, that uses several bottles, pipes, taps, and liquids.

The instruments becomes ‘our’ platform, ‘our’ mountain, on which Sisyphus has to push the boulder up: working in a pub/taverna and having been assigned to carrying bottles without stop, he is trying to figure out the meaning and function of the structure, before his end comes. Around the structure, there are a number of other instruments and objects, creating the scenery for this multidimensional work.

All in all, a highly emotional sonic journey melded with a variety of non-musical elements, inspired by the well-known myth. The research and development of the project was supported by the Arts Council and the Hinrichsen Foundation.

Created by Gregory Emfietzis and devised by the Metapraxis Ensemble.

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